Home > Books on Spiritual Formation, religion, Spirituality > Helpful reminders about spiritual direction from van Kaam and Muto

Helpful reminders about spiritual direction from van Kaam and Muto

September 30, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

With relief, I just finished my last paper for my July class. Only one month late! I didn’t realize what a burden this was hanging over my head. “Becoming a spiritual guide for missionaries” was the title of my paper. Unfortunately, it is not my best work but at least it is done. The most valuable part of the paper was going back through the books that we had used and reflecting on them. Here are a few nuggets gleaned.

Helpful reminders about spiritual direction from van Kaam and Muto

  1. Spiritual direction is not the same as therapeutic counseling. As a spiritual director, I should be aware when people need to be referred to a counselor. In spiritual direction, the focus is upon divine directives given in the present life situation instead of trying to solve problems (often from the pre-transcendent past). “Therapy can only do so much for a person. Spiritual direction complements therapy.” Dynamics 331
  2. In spiritual direction, I am helping people move from a focus on the functional dimension to the transcendent dimension. (Epiphany 23)
  3. “The first task of spiritual guidance ought to be to free us from entrenchment in ways of life that may be suitable for others but that would prove in the end to be fatal for us.” Dynamics 38
  4. Real formation is a gift that frees us to be who we are because it helps us to see that without God we are and can do nothing.” (Dynamics 62)
  5. It does not matter how much we have read or studied about spirituality but about “how honest we have been with ourselves.” (Dynamics 69
  6. “Self-examination includes putting our plans to the test of reality. It involves not just us but other people. We must be ready to change the moment we discover that we were mistaken.” (Dynamics 231)
  7. “Clearing the channels of our responsiveness to Christ is the purpose of all three modes of spiritual direction.” (Dynamics 438)
  8. “To keep myself attuned to the movements of the Spirit, I must work through my own resistance to grace, turning, if necessary, to spiritual direction for myself or seeking further enlightenment about this art of arts. (Dynamics 343)
  9. “The Spirit awakens the slumbering longing for transcendence buried by the Father in our inmost being. He masterminds all the landscapes of our existence to facilitate growth in spiritual maturity.” Foundations 182
  10. “Learning unsupported by grace may get into our ears; it never reaches the heart. It makes great noise outside but serves no inner purpose.” (Foundations 26)


  1. September 30, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    what we should do really to remain on path ?

  2. October 1, 2007 at 12:00 am

    i think the spirituality should be explained properly .

  3. October 1, 2007 at 6:00 am

    Not simple questions. True spirituality is the process of being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. He defines what is spiritual. To stay on the path requires grace! It requires honesty about where we are, an engagement with the Word and a commitment to obey (again by the grace of God). We will never be able to stay on the path unless we live in community with others.

  4. Wayne Cone
    October 1, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    paper online? would love to read

  5. October 2, 2007 at 7:58 am

    well, not yet posted. maybe after I edit it. give me a week and I will see if I still think it is as bad as when I wrote it. hope you are well

    • Karen
      July 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

      THIS IS A LONG WAY DOWN THE TRACK FROM WHEN YOU WROTE THIS! but I am doing some research on Spiritual Direction and Missionary Care- is it possible to have a copy of your paper? and your reference list? Looking for places to research! Thanks!

      • July 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

        I am traveling and so it is best if you email me and I will send it to you when I get home in a few days.

      • Karen
        July 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

        not a problem- what is your email address?

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